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Toddler Feeding

(56 Posts)
Chunkymonkey79 Fri 07-Aug-15 08:25:06

Am I being unreasonable spoon feeding my 19 month old for messy meals?

From 6 months we generally followed the traditional weaning route, but missed purees and instead always gave her what we were eating.

Anything requiring a knife/fork/spoon (eg weetabix, lasagne), we spoon feed her and give her utensils to 'help'.

Sandwich/crumpet/toast type foods I leave on the tray and leave her to it, but sometimes pop pieces in her mouth if she is messing about.

Now for the incident that has lead me to question myself...
I met a friend yesterday with my daughter (who I don't see very often) for lunch. She also brought her 20 month old daughter.

When food arrived she put her daughter in a highchair and left a plate of spaghetti Bolognese in front of her to eat by herself. She did eat some, and was very handy with a fork, but didn't actually eat enough for me to be satisfied that it was a filling meal if it were my DC. She made more mess than anything, but that doesn't bother me. If she is happy for her children to get messy thats fine by me!

I ordered food for my daughter (pasta) but I spoon-fed her while eating my sandwich one handed. My friend looked at me in shock and asked why I was spoon feeding, and commented she is a big girl now and shouldn't need to be fed by me. Throughout lunch she kept making comments about how clever her daughter is eating by herself, it's only a bit of mess etc etc... (I never once remarked on how her daughter was eating!)

I'm not fussy about her getting food all over her, that isn't why I spoon feed. I just want to ensure that she has eaten a decent meal especially as she has point blank refused any milk as a drink since 11 months! Any time I have tried to leave her to her own devices with a messy meal she just squashes it with her hands and smears it's everywhere and barely eats any of it.

What age is too old for spoon feeding? What do you guys think?!

confusedandemployed Fri 07-Aug-15 08:28:08

DD is nearly 2 1/2 and I still spoon feed her because she has the attention span of a goldfish. Halfway through a meal she gets bored and I'm too impatient to wait for her to finish so I help her.
Your friend sounds rather silly.

BollockyBollocks Fri 07-Aug-15 08:29:14

I think your friend was rude for her comments. Whatever she thinks she should keep her opinions to herself. I'd have done the same feeding wise. Occasionally I help dd(3) with a spoon/fork. If they need help I'm not going to sit and do nothing.

Bippidee Fri 07-Aug-15 08:30:55

I will still feed DD (23m) if she's mucking about or if it's a magnificently messy meal. Ignore your friend.

grabaspoon Fri 07-Aug-15 08:31:14

I don't feed toddlers. I am a nanny and my 1 year olds eat with cutely I may occasionally load up the fork but I don't spoon feed

PumpkinPie2013 Fri 07-Aug-15 08:37:12

My DS is 20 months and we also did 'traditional ' weaning (my nerves couldn't cope with BLW). I used to just give him what we had.

Now, he is generally very good at using cutlery himself so he feeds himself and we just help to load the spoon if he's struggling. He won't let us spoon feed him though - he always wants to do it himself. Anything like toast/rice cakes/fruit he just uses his hands.

It's totally up to you how you feed your daughter and it's up to your friend how she feeds her daughter.

Chunkymonkey79 Fri 07-Aug-15 08:37:42

Thanks everyone! Reassuring to know lots of people do it too! Obviously i don't intend to send her school not feeding herself, but right now it seems to be the logical thing to do!

Jengnr Fri 07-Aug-15 08:39:03

I never spoonfeed mine unless he's fucking about. And I reckon a 20 month old can manage themselves mostly without help. I've let him get on with it from the start.

That being said I couldn't care less what other people do and I wouldn't go on about it like your mate did.

NotMrsTumble Fri 07-Aug-15 08:44:00

Definitely not BU. Or if you are I'm BVU. Still "helping" feed ds 28 months, although over the last few weeks he's managing more by himself. They're hardly little for any time at all and will soon want to exert their own independence any way (I do it!). Meanwhile if he's too tired or distracted to eat, why not help? He still says "no" and pushes away his plate when he's had enough, so it's not as if he's being force fed.

StampyMum Fri 07-Aug-15 08:47:21

I can't remember when I stopped spoonfeeding, but your friend was being a pain. Each kid is different. My DH goes mad about DS not being very good with his cutlery yet, but really, as long as your child is eating a decent meal and you're happy that they're well fed, surely that's all that matters. Questioning other people's parenting methods is really bad - it can upset mums such a lot.

SnapesCapes Fri 07-Aug-15 08:48:12

I didn't feed DS1 because he was always a great eater. DS2 was a wally and would spend mealtimes singing, clapping and generally making a mess. NBU at all to still spoon feed your DD at 19 months, your friend is obviously getting a bit competitive.

thatstoast Fri 07-Aug-15 08:51:26

I do micro managed DS (18m) a bit more when eating in a restaurant. I'd never order him spaghetti either. Does anyone have any tips on encouraging them to use cutlery?

purplemurple1 Fri 07-Aug-15 08:53:01

Mine (almost 2) can feed himself and has done since around 10months using a spoon or fork (not always the right thing mind you).

But at the moment he is asking to be spoon fed (little sis is weaning), and he always has if he is particualry hungry or its a fovrite meal and he can't get it in fast enough for his own liking.

I would let her start trying with using a fork instead of fingers for things like omlette, pancakes etc and work from there at speed you are both happy with.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Fri 07-Aug-15 08:53:22

DD is 21 months and usually feeds herself but if she's messing around and not getting enough in for it to actually constitute a meal then I'll spoon feed. She also has the attention span of a goldfish and especially if we're out and about will just forget to actually eat!

tobysmum77 Fri 07-Aug-15 08:53:45

I think yabu to talk about a toddler eating enough for a filling meal. They should be self regulating their appetite.

toobreathless Fri 07-Aug-15 09:01:57

Personally I would think you very odd for spoon feeding a toddler.

They need to be learning how to feed themselves and I suspect will eat more than if they do it themselves. It would concern me that this would lead to overeating now and in future.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Fri 07-Aug-15 09:05:49

Toby sometimes DD will eat nothing if left to her own devices. Not even a mouthful, if she's distracted. She will then get down from the table and tell me she's hungry! Fine if we're at home and can give her her meal back, not so great if we're at a cafe or something.

ceeveebee Fri 07-Aug-15 09:06:11

At that age I may just help load a spoon or twirl some pasta around a fork but then let them put in their mouth themselves.

I don't think DD ever let me spoon feed her even when she was a very tiny baby. DS wouldn't pick up any food himself until he was about 16/17 months then I discovered that forks were easier than spoons for him and he fed himself from then on

Hellionandfriends Fri 07-Aug-15 09:06:18

I'm with your friend but unlike her, would never pass comment to a friend about their feeding methods.

I think you are too obsessed about how much your child eats. We are not in the third world. All children I know are thriving weight wise, some too too much so!! Spoon feeding a child more then they would normally eat themselves is a recipe for over eating as an older child and adult.

I let my child eat as much as they like. Messing around means they have eaten enough and don't need extras or more savoury food portions.

Messing around means I remove the left overs, wet wipe hands and give them a toy. I might hang on to the meal if lots are left so that my child can have it cold a couple of hours later?

However appropriate portion size is something parents learn with time. Lots of people dish out too much

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Fri 07-Aug-15 09:06:19

Plus even when being helped with a spoon she's perfectly capable of telling me when she's had enough!

Hellionandfriends Fri 07-Aug-15 09:08:35

Agree that your child should be regulating how much she eats depending on her appetite

Pepperonipeteczar Fri 07-Aug-15 09:09:23


You are getting the food in which is an acheivement in itself! By ANY means necessary grin

tobysmum77 Fri 07-Aug-15 09:09:40

so you only ever spoon feed her in a cafe? I guess my dds would never let me spoon feed them so I never had that option anyway.

I just know loads of people who are very anxious about their children eating enough. It's normal for them sometimes to only have a couple of bits off the plate and leave the rest ime.

afreshstartplease Fri 07-Aug-15 09:10:00

Out of interest op, do either of your or your friends dc go to childcare?

Artandco Fri 07-Aug-15 09:11:52

I wouldn't spoon feed at that age. By that age ds1 had baby siblings that I actually needed to feed, so left him to it

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